Looking sharp for Sheffield company's scissors revival

One of Sheffield's oldest companies is set to revive part of the city's scissor-making heritage - after supporters pledged more than £190,000 following an appeal.

Thursday, 11th August 2016, 8:00 am
Eric Stones, of Ernest Wright and Son Limited with the Kutrite range of scissors which the company have been running a crowdfunding appeal to revive them. Picture: Andrew Roe

Ernest Wright & Son, which has its workshop on Broad Lane, wants to bring back its old Kutrite range of scissors, a household fixture from the 1960s to the 1980s.

The versatile, seven-inch-long implements were suitable for all manner of uses, from cutting food to snipping card and trimming plants, and each pair featured both a bottle and cap opener.

However, in order to realise its ambition, the company needs to completely renew the expensive tooling and dies that allow it to forge the raw stainless steel ‘blanks’ for the scissor blades.

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The skills of Sheffield’s design graduates will be needed to subtly renew the original pattern, and the firm has to buy the minimum quantity of blanks - 3,000 top blades, and 3,000 bottom blades - from the forge.

A new grinding machine is also required, while the cost of paying the company’s three apprentices has to be covered.

A crowdfunding appeal was set up on the Kickstarter website with a target of £60,000. However, this goal has been far exceeded, and at the last count the total stood at £192,524.

Nick Wright, the business’s managing director, said: “We knew our Kutrite scissors were always extremely popular. I felt Kickstarter would be the perfect platform to test our theory - that if we could make these scissors again, many more people worldwide would buy them. So far, the theory is proving pretty successful. We’re definitely all really pleased at the moment.”

Ernest Wright & Son was established in 1902. It was once among more than 60 scissor manufacturers within a square mile of central Sheffield but, due to the march of globalisation, is now one of the last remaining companies of its kind in the country.

The Kutrite range was designed in the early 1960s, in homage to the Turton pattern from the 1920s.

When someone pledges on Kickstarter, rewards are given - anything from a ‘thankyou’ message online, to original pairs of scissors.

Profits made will go ‘straight back into the business’, Nick emphasised.

l Visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/scissors/ernest-wright-and-son-ltd-scissors-hand-made-in-sh for details.

l Those were the Days: P30